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A HIMALAYAN ODYSSEY

A Journey to the Hill Stations of Himachal Pradesh...

The hill state of Himachal Pradesh, sandwiched between Punjab and Tibet, encapsulates the verdant Himalayan foothills. Walking trails meander through orchard valleys and subtropical forests, leading us to deep gorges, pretty villages, roaring rivers and pine forests.

The mountain air is crisp and cool and the panoramic vistas of this once inaccessible area overlook a favourite summer retreat from the days of the Raj, whose legacy of colonial mansions, churches and remarkable railways sit comfortably alongside monasteries and temples.

From Delhi, we take the train into the state of Punjab, to Amritsar. We visit the Golden Temple, the holiest Sikh shrine, with the chance to experience first light prayers. The ceremonial sunset Retreat at Wagha Border, the only land crossing between Pakistan and India, is a fascinating ritual.

We move on, using 4x4 vehicles, to Dharamsala, home of the Dalai Lama and the exiled Tibetan Government for over three decades. The Tibetan influence here is strong. Dharamsala is the starting point for our foray into the Himalayan foothills.

From both Manali (2,050m), located at the head of the Kullu Valley, and the hill station of Shimla (2,000m), once the summer capital of the British Colonial Raj, we’ll walk in the surrounding hill country and experience Himachal Pradesh at its most idyllic, with its panoramic landscapes, snow capped peaks, tranquil villages, raging rivers, fruit orchards and terraced fields. An exhilarating steam train ride on the narrow gauge railway from Shimla to Kalka offers an old world charm as it gently snakes through the countryside. From Kalka we return to Delhi by train for a final visit before we depart for home.

Please note: October 24 departure has a slightly different itinerary, please see the Holiday Information Sheet, or call us for details.



WALKING GRADES


Full and half day walks at a moderate pace over hilly terrain. Many of these holidays have an element of sightseeing as well. Half day walk will involve about 3 hours or walking, with full day walks having around 5 hours. Expect ascents and descents of up to 600m.




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  • Dates, Prices & Holiday Information Sheet (PDF)
    Quarterly Filter :
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    Date
    Nights
    Grades
    Depart From
    More Info
    Status
    Price From
    A Himalayan Odyssey (Grade 4/SS/P)
    Date
    03 Oct 2017
    Nights
    17
    Grades
    Grade 4/SS/P
    Depart From
    London (Heathrow)
    More Info
    Status
    Available
    Price From
    £2,640
    A Himalayan Odyssey (Grade 4/SS/P)
    Date
    24 Oct 2017
    Nights
    17
    Grades
    Grade 4/SS/P
    Depart From
    London (Heathrow)
    More Info
    Status
    Available (Guaranteed)
    Price From
    £2,640
    A Himalayan Odyssey (Grade 4/SS/P)
    Date
    27 Mar 2018
    Nights
    17
    Grades
    Grade 4/SS/P
    Depart From
    London (Heathrow)
    More Info
    Status
    Available
    Price From
    £2,999
    A Himalayan Odyssey (Grade 4/SS/P)
    Date
    02 Oct 2018
    Nights
    17
    Grades
    Grade 4/SS/P
    Depart From
    Provisional Date Only
    More Info
    Status
    Provisional
    Price From
    A Himalayan Odyssey (Grade 4/SS/P)
    Date
    23 Oct 2018
    Nights
    17
    Grades
    Grade 4/SS/P
    Depart From
    Provisional Date Only
    More Info
    Status
    Provisional
    Price From
  • Itinerary
    03 Oct 2017 - 20 Oct 2017

    Day 1 - Delhi
    Depart London Heathrow for Delhi. Arrival is just before midnight and we transfer directly to our hotel.

    Day 2 - Delhi
    With a relaxed start today, we sightsee in Delhi seeing some of the well known sights.

    Day 3 - Amritsar
    We’ll take the train today to the Sikh holy city of Amritsar in Punjab (approx 6 hour journey). We have time to relax before dinner and we will stay in Amritsar for 2 nights’ accommodation.

    Day 4 - Amritsar
    Following breakfast we’ll see the Golden Temple, the holiest of Sikh temples, and we’ll make a sunset visit to see the ceremonial Retreat at the Wagah Border, the only land crossing border between India and Pakistan

    Day 5 - Dharamshala
    Making the journey overland to Dharamshala, we’ll travel approximately 125 miles, making stops en route to stretch your legs and we’ll enjoy a restaurant lunch. We’ll stay in Dharamshala for 4 nights. From today, until we reach Chandigarh, we will be travelling in SUV vehicles.

    Day 6 - Dharamshala
    Starting from the nearby village of Naddi, we’ll walk through a beautiful deodar forest to Bhagsu village stopping at a Buddist stupa (place of meditation) en route to Galu Temple. After lunch, we’ll continue our walk to a nearby waterfall, and also visit a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, before returning to Dharmshala. A stop may also be made at the Institute of Tibetan Art. A hot lunch will be included today. Walking time: Approx. 5 hours Elevation: Starting at 1900m, reaching 2100m and finishing at 1800m Terrain: An easy walk following a forest trail with a short steep descent from Galu temple to Bhagsu village.

    Day 7 - Dharamshala
    We’ll have a truce Tibetan experience today as we explore the Upper Town of Dharamshala, McLeod Ganj, where the residence of the Dalai Lama is located. We’ll see Tse Chokling Monastery, St John in the Wilderness Church, village school, Tibetan Medical Centre, and Norbulingka (a learning centre for traditional Tibetan art and craft). We’ll also see the Dalai Lama residence and plan to take a Kora holy walk, where you may see Buddhist monks and nuns chanting holy hymns.

    Day 8 - Dharamshala
    Today, we’ll walk from Naddi to the tribal village of Bahl, located in the foothills of the Dhauladhar mountains, and enjoy a short visit of the village. A steep climb takes us on to Galu Village, where we can enjoy a packed lunch. Walking time: Approx. 4.5-5 hours Elevation: Starting at 2000m, reaching 2500m and finishing at 2000m Terrain: A forest trail with some stony parts and a short, steep climb on rocky terrain.

    Day 9 - Manali
    We travel deeper into the Himalayan foothills today to Manali, located at the head of the Kullu Valley. The approximate 150 miles drive takes us through breathtaking scenery of snow capped peaks, pine forests and fruit orchards. We’ll make refreshment stops en route and also stop for a restaurant lunch. We stay in Manali for 4 nights.

    Day 10 - Manali
    We’ll start with a short drive to the village of Salong and make our way back to Manali with a leisurely walk through the Salong Valley passing traditional villages along the way. We’ll return to Manali by vehicle. A packed lunch will be included today. Walking time: Approx. 5 hours Elevation: Starting at 2500m, finishing at 2050m. Terrain: Following village tracks as we ascend.

    Day 11 - Manali
    From the nearby village of Vashishat, with its hot springs, we’ll walk to the sacred Jogini waterfall. From here, we’ll continue to Nehru Kund where our vehicles will take us to the snowline towards Rohtang Pass, which offers sweeping valley and snow capped mountain views. Walking time: Approx. 2.5 hours Elevation: Starting at 2100m, reaching 2150m and finishing at 2100m (3000m by vehicle) Terrain: An easy start with a gradual ascent for 30-40 minutes to the falls, following a dirt track, followed by a 30 minute, steep (but short) descent to Nehru Kund.

    Day 12 - Manali
    From Prini village, a short drive from Manali, we’ll walk to Upper Prini village before continuing to Naggar village, located on the banks of the Beas River, to visit Naggar Castle, where we’ll have lunch, and Roerich Gallery which houses paintings by Russian artist Nicholas Roerich. Time permitting, we may include a short walk this afternoon. Walking time: Approx. 2 hours Elevation: Starting at 1900m, reaching 2000m Terrain: A little ascent at the beginning, which evens out for an easy and steady walk

    Day 13 - Shimla
    Our journey today takes us 160 miles to the hill station of Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh. Refreshment stops will be made en route, including lunch at a local restaurant. We stay in Shimla for 3 nights.

    Day 14 - Shimla
    Today, we’ll take the Heritage Walk of Shimla visiting the Vice Regal Lodge, once the residence of Mountbatten and now the Institute of Advanced Studies, following the Mall where we’ll see the Cecil Hotel, Kennedy House and Lakar Bazar. Lunch is included at a local restaurant today and there will be some free time.

    Day 15 - Shimla
    We’ll drive to Mashobara where we’ll start our walk through a pine forest to Seepur village, sometimes steeply on tracks and reasonable paths. We follow the contours going through several hamlets to Kanda village. Towards the end the path goes a little off-piste on a steep track but then the path is nicely graded down to the village. Here we will meet out transport and return to Woodville Palace Hotel for tea on lawn. A packed lunch is included today. Walking time: Approx. 3-3.5 hours Elevation: Starting at 2200m and finishing at 2200m Terrain: A level walking day at an even altitude following a forest trail.

    Day 16 - Delhi
    Our Toy Train journey today offers some spectacular views of the valleys as it twists its way down gradually from Shimla to Khandaghat (approx. 2 hours). We’ll then take a short drive to Dharampur, where we’ll have lunch before boarding our train to Delhi at Kalka (journey to Delhi approx 3.5 hours). We stay in Delhi for 1 night.

    Day 17 - Delhi
    Today we visit continue with our visit of Old and New Delhi including, seeing Humayun’s tomb and grounds, Laxmi Narayan temple, Qutub Minar, Ghandi’s house, Parliament House, and Indian Gate. We may have the opportunity to walk in Lodi Gardens and visit Khan Market. After a late dinner and time to freshen up, we transfer to the airport.

    Day 18 - -
    Our early morning flight departs Delhi, arriving into London the same day.


  • Accommodation

    We stay in twin and single bedded rooms with shower and wc in comfortable, tourist class hotels throughout the tour. A list of your hotels, together with their contact details will be sent to you with your airline tickets, shortly before departure. 

     

  • What's Included
    • Return air travel and transfers.
    • Half board en suite accommodation.
    • All entrance fees.
    • Most lunches.
    • Knowledgeable local guides.
    • All local transport costs.

  • Holiday Highlights
    • The Golden Temple at Amritsar, the holiest of Sikh temples.
    • Dharamsala, home to the Dalai Lama and the exiled Tibetan Government.
    • Riding the train from Shimla to Khandaghat with stunning panoramic views.  
    • The Kullu Valley with the backdrop of the snow peaked Himalayas.  
    • A journey back in time to the British Colonial Raj.


  • Travel Information & Regional Departures
    • Arrival transfer by road (c45mins).
    • Flights Heathrow-Delhi (c8hrs 50mins), British Airways.
    • UK add-on flights from £95 return, British Airways.
    • Upgrades Premium Economy and Business Class upgrades available, please ask for a competitive quote.
    • Visa is required.

  • Holiday Photo Gallery
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  • Private Group Enquiry

    Planning a holiday for a group? For a quote or to simply enquire about the possibility of booking this holiday for your Walking Group please fill out the enquiry form below and our dedicated Private Group Department will get in touch with you shortly to discuss your options.

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